Phases – Introduction
The ability of businesses to be innovative and dynamic in a rapidly evolving economic climate is constantly being challenged. There is significant evidence that innovation is assisted by having diverse, active networks from which to pool skills, inspiration and problem solving. There is academic consensus on the importance of creating efficient networks for establishing a business and its ongoing success in entrepreneurial ventures (Wilson and Stokes 2004, Hanna and Walsh 2008).
Networking allows businesses to gain access to resources that might otherwise not be available to them. It can also aid the development of a firm’s credibility, expand the customer base and supplier contacts, highlight access to resources and available funding, encourage innovation and help develop strategic partnerships (Witt, 2004).
Business owners rarely possess all the skills and know-how needed to develop the company –
- finding people with the missing skills
- persuading them to contribute
- maintaining a sense of accountability to each other
These are all critical benefits from effective networking.
New chapter success in BNI is a direct result of positive leadership. This is why BNI provides formal leadership training for all its active and start-up chapters. Leadership Team and member training directly impacts the strength of your new chapter, and as a result, the profitability of your business and the businesses of the other members.
BNI new chapter success is a direct result of positive leadership. This is why BNI provides formal leadership training for all its active and start-up chapters. Leadership Team training directly impacts the strength of your new chapter, and as a result, the profitability of your business and the businesses of the other members.
The Business and Leadership Team training provides:
a. Valuable business and leadership development presentations.
b. A means by which to further develop your business and personal leadership skills.
c. An opportunity to meet and potentially do business with members of other BNI chapters in your Region.
Listen to the podcasts below prior to starting a chapter.
These podcasts will be discussed and referenced during your future Phase 1/2/3 Meetings.
BNI Podcast 11 – Core Groups
BNI Podcast 75 – Member Development 101
BNI Podcast 152/244 – Do Unique Professions work in BNI
BNI Podcast 278 – Inviting Visitors
BNI Podcast 458 – Inviting People
BNI Explained (What is BNI?):
Phase 1 – Chapter Start-Ups
In Phase One 8-10 Applicants are required to prove to BNI that they have influence with others in the local business community. A successful Phase One means we will have 15+ Leaders with fully completed and signed applications and commitment forms ready to make this new Chapter profitable and successful long term.
Prior to the first meeting of Phase One we will have a conversation with a person or persons who may want to start a chapter. It is important that we establish if you are able to influence others. Here are some important factors that you need to consider as an interested party.
Potential BNI Applicant Questions
1. How long have you lived in the area?
2. How long have you worked in the area?
3. Do you belong to any other organisations?
4. Do you have others in mind that will help you start the chapter?
5. What profession do you want to hold within the group?
6. If you look at your email, Facebook, contacts, etc. how many people are in your network?
These are all questions that will let us know if you have the contacts in the area to help you start your chapter.
Prospects need to know that it takes time and hard work to get a BNI chapter started. You are looking at four or more hours per week.
Are you prepared to make that kind of investment?
Supporting Education for Phase 1 Applicants – Visitor Focus
BNI Podcast 411 – Using Power Teams to Attract Visitors
BNI Podcast 422 – Exceptions Don’t Make You Exceptional
BNI Podcast 383 – “You Do the Math”
BNI Podcast 371 – Five Things I Learned from BNI
BNI Podcast 348 – Expanding Your Overall Sphere of Influence
Have Fun Starting New Chapters
Phase 2 – Chapter Start-Ups
In most circumstances when you get to this Phase 2 (10 -15+ applications)of the BNI launch process you will launch IF and ONLY IF you stick to the timeline.
(Accountability is key)
This is the place where applicants need now to bring 10+ people who are ready to submit an application.
The process is not far from Phase One with the exception of a few things. Stick to the Plan!
We are now meeting weekly. The weekly meeting is 90 minutes long.
Once again you will be repeating the same presentations/workshops. (Clearly the Mars bar tastes the same!)
There is no time in Phase 2 for the applicants to delay on whom they are going to invite. Go back to those you invited previously (via Eventbrite) those who did not come and have someone else invite him or her, keep inviting them back at this Phase 2 and even at the Launch.
Supporting Education for Phase 2 Applicants – Visitor Follow-Up
BNI Podcasts – From the Founder Dr Ivan Misner
BNI Podcast 138 – The Number 1 Trait of A Master Networker
BNI Podcast 095 – Find an Accountability Partner
BNI Podcast 032 – The Ten Commandments of Networking
BNI Podcast 418 – Empty Your Purse Into Your Head
BNI Podcast 397 – BNI’s Vision and Mission
BNI Podcast 366 – Chambers and BNI
BNI Podcast 306 – Fear of Rejection
Phase 3 – Chapter Start-Ups
This portion of the start process is most important to your BNI Chapter. Don’t skip on the training or the launch process. By this time you should have a great meeting location and you are ready to train and prepare BNI members for the Launch.
The meetings will be 2 hours duration for the next six weeks as we have a lot to accomplish in a very short period of time. This is the time that we will do the training of your new chapter as well as coach new members from Phase 2 towards the launch of the group with their letters campaign.
Retention of members starts with proper launching and education. Remember you are setting the culture.
- Every member must attend the next 6 weeks
- Substitutes are not appropriate
- No further applications will be accepted during Phase 3.
- There are no Visitors.
- Everyone is participate in the Letter Campaign– non-negotiable
- Phase 3 requires meetings of 2 hours
- Every member is expected to go to BNI Learning and set up account
- Every member is expected to go to BNI Connect and set up their BIO.
- Day of the Chapter Launch – the entire day should be marked out on their diary
Supporting Education for Phase 3 BNI Members – Business Growth
BNI Podcasts – From the Founder Dr Ivan Misner
BNI Podcast 072 – Generating More Referrals
BNI Podcast 145 – What’s Important When You Refer People
BNI Podcast 146 – Visibility Through Touchpoints
How to start your own chapter – YOURSELF
Case Study Testimonials – Real State Residential Sales
The Real Estate category was filled in ALL of the Chapters in the local area; therefore, I CONQUERED MY FEAR and decided to start a BNI chapter in my local area. BNI allows only one profession per chapter.
How did I do this?
1. I was introduced, initially, to BNI about 2 months ago; however, at the time, I did not feel that my list of approved vendors was suitable. Thus, I decided, although not necessary to start a BNI, to WAIT until my list was to my satisfaction.
2. Then, I decided that it was time for me to do SOMETHING DIFFERENT.
3. I called the mortgage broker who initially invited me to BNI, and he gave me the phone number of one of the area directors to call. He also gave me the BNI website details.
4. I called EVERY LOCAL Area Director until someone called me, and I received the proper contact person for my area.
5. Had a phone conference with this Director for ideas. She decided that since another group was also starting that we would have a BNI Discovery Meeting. I was encouraged to invite everyone to this meeting who I wanted to be a part of my BNI Chapter.
6. I also reviewed ALL of the websites for the CHAPTERS that are in my area. This gave me insight regarding the BNI weekly meeting . . . its format . . . and what is basically required.
7. From there, I formulated a letter and e-mailed it out to ALL of my business contacts. I invited them to this BNI General Overview Meeting. I invited approximately 55+ professions.
8. What was the Result: Eleven (11) out of the 55+ that I invited showed up. Which professions were in attendance among my invitees?
Building Inspector, Property Lawyer, Reverse Mortgage Specialist, Appraiser, Tile Installer, Settlement Agent, Me (Real Estate Agent), Another Settlement Agent, Pest Control Inspector, Web Designer, Travel Agent.
YOU MAY FIND THIS HARD TO BELIEVE BUT NO MORTGAGE BROKER THAT I INVITED SHOWED UP!!!
Out of the two “starting” chapters that were present at the Discovery session, I was happy to note that out of the 16 that were present, to include the Director and the Ambassador, I had 11 that were in attendance . . . this was awesome!!!
9. The following week when we met for our first initial meeting with our Phase 1 Group, we had about 10 to 15 that showed up. This was in October 2015.
What is happening now? August 2016 – BNI Chapter 39 members
So, if BNI has your profession filled, take the plunge and BREAK THROUGH YOUR FEAR . . . START A BNI CHAPTER . . . BNI Local Area Directors and Ambassadors will help you!!!
Ten Commandments of Networking – Dr Ivan Misner
Many business people and entrepreneurs get a bit uncomfortable when it comes right down to walking up to someone and starting a conversation. Many others are concerned about getting effective results from the time they spend networking.
The process doesn’t have to be traumatic, scary, or a waste of time.
When done properly, it can truly make a difference in the amount of business your company generates.
With the right approach, you can use it to build a wealth of resources and contacts that will help to make your business very successful
Use the following Ten Commandments to help you network your way through your next business networking event:
Have the tools to network with you at all times.
Including a name badge, business cards, brochures about your business, and a pocket-sized business card file containing cards of other professionals whom you can refer.
Set a goal for the number of people you’ll meet.
Identify a reachable goal based on attendance and the type of group.
Act like a host, not a guest.
A host is expected to do things for others, while a guest sits back and relaxes. Volunteer to help greet people. Act as a conduit.
Listen and ask questions.
A good networker has two ears and one mouth and uses them proportionately. After you’ve learned what another person does, tell them what you do. Be specific, but brief.
Don’t try to close a deal.
These events are not meant to be a vehicle to hit on business people to buy your products or services. Networking is about developing relationships with other professionals
Give referrals whenever possible.
The best networkers believe in the givers gain philosophy (what goes around, comes around). If I help you, you’ll help me and we’ll both do better as a result of it. In other words, if you don’t genuinely attempt to help the people you meet, then you are not networking effectively.
Exchange business cards.
Ask each person you meet ask for two cards – one to pass on to someone else and one to keep. This sets the stage for networking to happen.
Manage your time efficiently.
Spend ten minutes or less with each person you meet and don’t linger with friends or associates. If your goal is to meet a given number of people, be careful not to spend too much time with any one person. When you meet someone interesting with whom you’d like to speak further, set up an appointment for a later date.
Write notes on the backs of business cards you collect.
Record anything you think may be useful in remembering each person more clearly. This will come in handy when you follow up on each contact.
You can obey the previous nine commandments religiously, but if you don’t follow up effectively, you will have wasted your time. Drop a note or give a call to each person you’ve met. Be sure to fulfill any promises you’ve made.